AFC wants Opposition to support extension of election deadline in parliament; PPP says “No!”
Sep 21, 2019, , Source -- https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...liament-ppp-says-no/
The Alliance for Change (AFC) is calling on the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to head to Parliament and support an extension of the Constitutional deadline stipulated by the No Confidence Motion.
[From left] AFC Treasurer, Dominic Gaskin; AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan; AFC Executive Member, Cathy Hughes
Passed on December 21, 2018, the Constitution grants three months within which elections must be held, lest the country move into uncharted waters.
It has been six months since that deadline passed, and the President has finally been empowered by Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chair, Justice Claudette Singh S.C., to declare a date for General and Regional Elections.
Minister of Public Security and Leader of the AFC, Khemraj Ramjattan, during a press conference yesterday, told reporters that the party is comforted by the fact that the joint statement issued to Guyana by the US, the UK and the EU, did not call the coalition Government an illegal one.
He continued, adding that the AFC welcomes the announcement by the GECOM Chair. Ramjattan said that there are two requirements to solve any unconstitutionality. The first, he said, would be for the President to name a date for elections.
The AFC is of the view that all Constitutional requirements have been adhered to by the Government and the President thus far.
“The next Constitutional requirement to ensure that the elections 2020 are held without being challenged is the requirement to get approval from a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly as is required by Article 106 (7).”
And for that, Ramjattan said, the AFC will urge the Opposition to ensure “full Constitutionality” of the upcoming elections, by granting its support in Parliament.
According to the AFC Leader, the Opposition “must not be seen to be frustrating this necessary Parliamentary support”.
But the PPP has no intention of granting that extension.
This was reiterated during a recent press conference of the Parliamentary Opposition yesterday, where Gail Teixeira told reporters that Parliament is “dead”.
She stated that the Parliament consists of the President, the Cabinet, the Executive, the Speaker and the National Assembly. Since the Constitutional deadline has long passed, Teixeira is of the view that there is no National Assembly with the power to grant such an extension.
She said that, if an extension were to be granted, it should have been done within the three-month period after the No Confidence motion was passed, adding that when the Opposition met with the President in early March, the Opposition delegation had informed the President that they were willing to grant the two-thirds vote needed in the National Assembly if he agreed to call an election date by April 30, 2019. But the President, according to Teixeira, ignored that.
“So there’s no recourse back to Parliament. It is over.”